WO2003076192A1 - Liquid ejecting head, method of cleaning the ejecting head, and liquid ejecting device - Google Patents

Liquid ejecting head, method of cleaning the ejecting head, and liquid ejecting device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2003076192A1
WO2003076192A1 PCT/JP2003/003110 JP0303110W WO03076192A1 WO 2003076192 A1 WO2003076192 A1 WO 2003076192A1 JP 0303110 W JP0303110 W JP 0303110W WO 03076192 A1 WO03076192 A1 WO 03076192A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
liquid
ink
surface
head
liquid discharge
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/JP2003/003110
Other languages
French (fr)
Japanese (ja)
Inventor
Shota Nishi
Yuji Yakura
Makoto Ando
Hiroshi Tokunaga
Original Assignee
Sony Corporation
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to JP2002070888A priority Critical patent/JP3931699B2/en
Priority to JP2002070887A priority patent/JP3931698B2/en
Priority to JP2002-070888 priority
Priority to JP2002-070887 priority
Application filed by Sony Corporation filed Critical Sony Corporation
Publication of WO2003076192A1 publication Critical patent/WO2003076192A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/135Nozzles
    • B41J2/165Preventing or detecting of nozzle clogging, e.g. cleaning, capping or moistening for nozzles
    • B41J2/16517Cleaning of print head nozzles
    • B41J2/16535Cleaning of print head nozzles using wiping constructions
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/135Nozzles
    • B41J2/165Preventing or detecting of nozzle clogging, e.g. cleaning, capping or moistening for nozzles
    • B41J2/16517Cleaning of print head nozzles
    • B41J2/16535Cleaning of print head nozzles using wiping constructions
    • B41J2/16544Constructions for the positioning of wipers

Abstract

A liquid ejecting head having an ink ejecting surface (6) with rows of ink ejecting holes (13) for ejecting ink for each color, a method of cleaning the liquid ejecting head, and a liquid ejecting device, the method of cleaning the liquid ejecting head comprising the steps of moving a cleaning roller (7) cylindrically formed of an elastic material relative to the liquid ejecting head in the state of being brought into contact with the ink ejecting surface (6) of the liquid ejecting head, and sucking ink (15) in the ink ejecting holes (13) by a pressure variation in the ink ejecting holes (13) during the movement, whereby the ink ejecting surface (6) having the ink ejecting holes (13) is not damaged and a cleaning effect on the ink ejecting surface (6) near the ink ejecting holes (13) can be increased.

Description

Liquid discharge head, cleaning method thereof, and liquid discharge device

Technical field

 Light

 The present invention relates to a liquid discharge head for discharging liquid drops such as an ink for forming an image onto a recording medium from a liquid discharge hole such as an ink discharge hole, a cleaning method and a liquid discharge device. book -

Background art

 As a liquid ejection apparatus having a liquid ejection head having a liquid ejection surface provided with an array of liquid ejection holes for ejecting droplets, for example, an ink jet type inkjet printer has a low running cost and a print image. It is widely used because it is easy to colorize and the size of the device can be easily reduced.

 This ink jet printer discharges a very small amount of ink from a tiny ink discharge hole provided on the ink discharge surface of the print head to record an image. However, if the ink is not ejected from the ink ejection hole of the print head, the ink attached to the ink ejection surface near the ink ejection hole by the previous printing operation evaporates to dry and thickens and solidifies. In some cases, normal ink ejection is difficult.

For this reason, conventionally, a rather hard blade made of rubber or the like is pressed against the ink discharge surface of the print head, and the ink discharge surface is slid to adhere to the ink discharge surface and increase the viscosity. Remove solidified ink (Wipe) to clean the print head. In this connection, Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 57-34969 discloses a technique in which a plurality of blades are attached to a rotating shaft and rotated to further enhance the wiping effect.

 Also, Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 56-106866 discloses a technique for sucking and removing ink, dust and the like in an ink discharge hole by using a suction pump to prevent non-discharge of the ink. Is disclosed.

 However, in such a conventional technique, a slightly hard rubber blade or the like is pressed against the ink discharge surface of the print head to slide on the ink discharge surface, thereby causing the ink to adhere to the ink discharge surface. Since the ink is wiped, a large force is applied to the ink ejection surface by the blade, which may damage the ink ejection surface. Also, with the above blade, only the wiping effect had to be relied upon, but wiping alone sometimes left ink in the ink discharge holes. Even when a plurality of blades are used, the ink ejection surface may be damaged as described above, and the ink may remain near the ink ejection hole.

 In addition, when suctioning and removing ink or dust in the ink ejection holes by using a suction pump, it is necessary to suction ink in the ink ejection holes slightly more, which wastefully consumes ink in the ink head. There was a case. Disclosure of the invention

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances, and has been made in view of the above circumstances. Ning method and liquid discharge device The purpose is to provide a device.

 The present invention has the following features to attain the object mentioned above.

 An ink jet head according to the present invention is a liquid ejection head having a liquid ejection surface provided with an array of liquid ejection holes for ejecting liquid droplets, and is a cleaning head formed of a material having elasticity in a cylindrical shape. A member, and moving means for relatively moving the cleaning member in contact with the liquid discharge surface, wherein an outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member is in contact with the liquid discharge surface. The liquid in the liquid ejection hole is sucked by the pressure change in the liquid ejection hole when moving in the state.

 With such a configuration, the cleaning member formed of a material having elasticity and having a columnar shape is relatively moved while being in contact with the liquid discharge surface, and the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member is formed by the liquid discharge surface. The liquid in the liquid ejection hole is sucked and removed by the pressure change in the liquid ejection hole when the liquid ejection device moves while being in contact with the surface. Thereby, it is possible to improve the cleaning effect near the liquid discharge hole without damaging the liquid discharge surface.

 The cleaning member has a large number of small holes formed on the outer peripheral surface thereof, and the cleaning member moves due to a change in pressure in the liquid discharge holes when the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member moves in contact with the liquid discharge surface. The liquid sucked from the inside of the liquid ejection hole is captured in the small hole by the capillary action of the large number of small holes on the outer peripheral surface, and is reliably removed without leaving the liquid ejection surface for cleaning.

Further, the cleaning member is formed of a material having at least one of closed cells and open cells, so that the liquid captured on the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member can be capillary-expressed from the hole formed by the bubbles. Absorbed inside by elephants. Thereby, contamination by the sucked (removed) liquid can be prevented, and the cleaning effect near the liquid discharge hole can be improved. In addition, the method for cleaning a liquid discharge head according to the present invention is a method for cleaning a liquid discharge head having a liquid discharge surface provided with an array of liquid discharge holes for discharging liquid droplets, the method comprising: The cleaning member formed into a cylindrical shape is relatively moved while being in contact with the liquid ejection surface, and the liquid when the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member moves while contacting the liquid ejection surface is moved. The liquid in the liquid discharge hole is sucked by the pressure change in the discharge hole.

 By performing such a method, the liquid in the liquid ejection hole is sucked and removed by the pressure change in the ink ejection hole when the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member moves while being in contact with the liquid ejection surface. I do. Thus, it is possible to improve the cleaning effect near the liquid discharge hole without damaging the liquid discharge surface.

 Further, the liquid discharge device according to the present invention is a liquid discharge device for discharging liquid droplets from a row of liquid discharge holes provided on a liquid discharge surface, wherein the cleaning member is formed of a material having elasticity and has a cylindrical shape. Moving means for relatively moving the cleaning member in contact with the liquid discharge surface, wherein the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member moves in contact with the liquid discharge surface. A liquid discharge head adapted to suck the liquid in the liquid discharge hole due to a pressure change in the liquid discharge hole at the time of mounting the liquid discharge head, and mounting and fixing the liquid discharge head to a predetermined portion of the device main body. And a head attaching / detaching mechanism for releasing the fixing.

With such a configuration, the cleaning head, which is made of a material having elasticity and has a cylindrical shape, is relatively moved by the liquid discharge head in a state of being in contact with the liquid discharge surface. The liquid in the liquid discharge hole is sucked and removed by the pressure change in the liquid discharge hole when the outer peripheral surface of the member moves while being in contact with the liquid discharge surface. As a result, the liquid ejection surface It is possible to improve the cleaning effect near the liquid ejection hole without damaging the liquid ejection hole. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

 FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of an ink jet head according to the present embodiment and a printer main body to which the ink jet head is attached. FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the ink jet head shown in FIG. FIG. 3 is a side view showing a specific example of the head cap and the cleaning roller shown in FIG.

 FIG. 4 is a plan view showing a specific example of the head cap and the cleaning roller.

 FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line EE of FIG.

 FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view for explaining a cleaning action of the ink discharge surface of the print head by the cleaning roller and a head cleaning method.

 FIG. 7 is an enlarged side view showing another embodiment of the cleaning roller.

 FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the cleaning roller formed of a material having a closed cell structure.

 FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the above cleaning glass formed of a material having a cell structure of open cells.

 FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the cleaning roller formed of a material having a cell structure of semi-closed cells.

FIG. 11 is a side view for explaining a specific mechanism of movement and driven rotation of the cleaning roller shown in FIG. 2 and showing details of the head cap opening / closing mechanism shown in FIG. FIG. 12 is an enlarged side view of a main part of FIG. 11, showing a specific structure of the driven roller driven rotation.

 FIG. 13 is an enlarged side view of a main part showing another embodiment of the moving mechanism of the cleaning roller, and shows a specific structure of a brake mechanism of the cleaning roller.

 FIG. 14 is an enlarged side view of a principal part showing still another embodiment of the cleaning roller moving mechanism, and shows a specific structure of a cleaning roller fixing mechanism.

 FIG. 15 is an enlarged side view of a main part showing still another embodiment of the moving mechanism of the cleaning roller, and shows a specific structure of a rotation drive mechanism of the cleaning roller.

 FIG. 16A and FIG. 16B are explanatory views showing an operation of rotating the cleaning roller on the ink discharge surface by the rotation drive mechanism.

 FIG. 17A to FIG. 17F are explanatory diagrams showing a head cap of an inkjet head and a cleaning operation by a cleaning porter.

 FIG. 18 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of an ink jet printing as an example of the image forming apparatus according to the present embodiment, and is a diagram showing a state where an ink jet head is mounted.

 FIG. 19 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of the ink jet printing, showing a state in which the head cap is opened.

 FIG. 20 is an explanatory diagram showing a specific mechanism and operation of the ink jet head shown in FIG.

FIG. 21 is an explanatory view showing a specific mechanism and operation in which the ink jet head is fixed to a predetermined portion of the pudding body by a head attaching / detaching mechanism, and the head cap is movable. . FIG. 22 is an explanatory diagram showing a specific mechanism and operation in a state where the head cap attached to the bottom side of the ink cartridge is moved in the direction of arrow A and opened.

 FIG. 23 is an explanatory diagram showing a specific mechanism and operation in a state where the head cap sequentially moves in the direction of arrow A according to the movement trajectory P.

 FIG. 24 is an explanatory diagram showing a specific mechanism and operation in a state where the head cap has been fully moved in the direction of arrow A according to the movement locus P and is at the retracted position.

 FIGS. 25A and 25B are schematic explanatory views showing another type of ink jet printer in which an ink jet head is mounted on a printer main body via a tray. BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

 Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of an ink jet head (liquid ejection head) 1 and a printer main body 2 to which the ink jet head 1 is mounted according to the present embodiment. FIG. 1 shows a case where the inkjet head 1 has an independent form and is directly mounted on the printer main body 2. Then, the ink jet 1 is housed as indicated by an arrow H and set in a fixed state in the printer main body 2 to constitute an image forming apparatus, for example, an ink jet printer (liquid ejection apparatus).

The ink jet head 1 discharges the liquid ink into fine particles by, for example, an electrothermal conversion method or an electromechanical conversion method, and sprays ink dots onto recording paper (recording medium). And an ink cartridge 3, a print head 4, and a head cap 5, as shown in FIG. The ink cartridge 3 contains one or more colors of ink therein, and its housing is elongated over the entire width in the width direction of the printer body 2 shown in FIG. 1, that is, in the width direction of the recording paper. Although not shown, the inside of the housing has, for example, four ink chambers, each of which is filled with ink of four colors of yellow Y, magenta M, cyan C, and black K. The ink cartridge 3 is formed of a hard resin or the like. As shown in FIG. 2 (an enlarged cross-sectional view of the ink jet head 1 shown in FIG. 1), a print head 4 is provided on the bottom surface of the ink cartridge 3. The print head 4 discharges the ink supplied from the ink cartridge 3 into fine particles and discharges the ink. The ink discharge holes (liquid discharge holes) composed of minute holes are formed in the ink cartridge 3. An ink ejection surface (liquid ejection surface) 6 is provided along the longitudinal direction corresponding to the entire width of the recording paper.

 The ink. The ejection surface 6 is formed of a material containing nickel and nickel, for example, in the form of a thin sheet by a nickel electrode method, and extends in the longitudinal direction of the ink cartridge 3 to form yellow Y, magenta M, and cyan. Rows of ink discharge holes of four colors C and black K are provided, respectively, and are formed as a four-color integrated line head. Although not shown, the head electrodes are formed of resin on both sides of the ink discharge surface 6 where the rows of the ink discharge holes of Y, ,, C, and あ る are located. The portion where the convex portion covered with is formed is a wavy surface.

A head cap 5 is attached to the bottom side of the ink cartridge 3. The head cap 5 serves as a cap member that covers the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 and protects the ink discharge hole from drying and clogging, and is the same as the housing of the ink cartridge 3. It is elongated in length and formed in a shallow box shape with an open top. It is relatively movable with respect to the head 4 and is detachably mounted. The head cap 5 is moved in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4 by a moving means such as a motor A or B as shown by arrows A and B. When the ink cartridge is moved in the direction A, it is detached from the ink cartridge 3 and when it is returned in the direction of arrow B, it is mounted on the ink cartridge 3 again. The head cap 5 is made of a hard resin or the like.

 A cleaning roller 7 is provided inside the head cap 5. The cleaning port 7 serves as a cleaning member for cleaning the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 and is formed in a cylindrical shape with an elastic material. It is attached in the longitudinal direction of the head cap 5 at a portion. Therefore, it is parallel to the longitudinal direction of the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4. The cleaning roller 7 moves in the direction of arrow A together with the head cap 5 to clean the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4.

 For this reason, the head cap 5 also serves as a moving means for relatively moving the cleaning roller 7 in contact with the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4.

 Similarly, an ink receiving section 8 is provided inside the head cap 5. The ink receiving portion 8 receives a preliminary discharge ink from the ink discharge hole of the print head 4, and receives the preliminary discharge ink on a part or the entire bottom surface of the shallow box-shaped head cap 5. It has become.

Next, specific examples of the head cap 5 and the cleaning roller 7 will be described with reference to FIGS. First, in Fig. 4, The gap 5 is formed in an elongated shape in accordance with the width and length of the ink cartridge 3 shown in FIG. 1, and as shown in FIG. 3, the bottom has a bottom surface, a side wall is formed all around, and an upper portion is opened. It is formed in a shallow box shape. As described above, the head cap 5 is moved in the direction orthogonal to the longitudinal direction of the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 as shown by arrows A and B, but returned in the direction of arrow B. As positioning means when the ink cartridge 3 is mounted again in this state, a positioning claw 12 is provided at the upper end of the side wall opposite to the cleaning roller 7 as shown in FIG. The positioning claws 12 are engaged with the lower side edge of the ink cartridge 3 to position the head cap 5.

 The head cap 5 is formed in a column shape near the side wall on one side in the longitudinal direction on the print head 4 side, in contact with the entire length of the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4. Cleaning roller 7 is detachably held. That is, pins 9 project from both ends of the cleaning roller 7 as shown in FIG. 4, and the pins 9 are held by a holding member 10 which stands up in a substantially U-shape as shown in FIG. It has been done. The upper pin receiving portion of the holding member 10 is elastically openable and closable. When the pin 9 is pressed from above onto the pin receiving portion, the pin receiving portion opens to receive the pin 9 and then closes. Hold. Conversely, by lifting the pin 9 upward, the pin receiving portion is opened and the pin 9 can be removed.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the cylindrical shape of the cleaning roller 7 is formed in a so-called crown shape in which the central portion in the longitudinal direction is gradually thickened. This is to prevent the cleaning roller 7 from bending out of contact with the ink ejection surface 6 because the cleaning roller 7 may bend downward at the central portion in the longitudinal direction. Further, a portion of the cleaning roller 7 that contacts the ink ejection surface 6 is formed of a material such as rubber having elasticity. That is, the core of the cleaning roller 7 is formed of, for example, metal or hard resin, and the outer peripheral portion of the core is formed of an elastic member such as rubber. Note that the entire cleaning port roller 7 may be formed of a flexible material such as rubber.

 As shown in FIG. 3, a floating spring 11 is interposed in a portion for holding the cleaning port 7 on the head cap 5. The floating spring 11 serves as a means for urging the cleaning port 7 toward the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4, and is composed of, for example, a plate panel formed in a substantially U shape in side view. It is inserted below the pin 9 in the vicinity of the holding member 10. Then, the urging force of the floating spring 11 acts on the pins 9 at both ends, thereby pressing the cleaning roller 7 against the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 with a substantially uniform force.

 Thus, as shown in FIG. 2, with the head cap 5 attached to the bottom side of the ink cartridge 3, the urging force of the floating spring 11, the positive force of the cleaning roller 7, and the crown With the shape, the cleaning roller 7 comes into contact with the entire length of the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4. Note that the floating spring 11 is not limited to a substantially U-shaped plate panel, and may be a coil spring.

The cleaning roller 7 is driven to rotate by contact with the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4. Therefore, as shown in FIG. 2, when the head cap 5 moves in the direction of the arrow A, the cleaning port 7 is moved to the full length of the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4. It rotates while keeping it in close contact with a moderate pressure over the entire surface, and the rotation moves to clean the ink adhering to the ink discharge surface 6.

 Here, the cleaning action of the cleaning roller 7 on the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4 and the head cleaning method will be described with reference to FIG. In FIG. 6, the ink discharge surface 6, the ink discharge holes 13 and the cleaning roller 7 are shown in an enlarged sectional view for easy understanding. First, in FIG. 6, the cleaning roller 7 is driven to rotate in the direction of arrow C by contact with the ink discharge surface 6 while moving in the direction of arrow A together with the head cap 5 shown in FIG. Then, it is assumed that the cleaning roller 7 passes through the position of the ink discharge holes 13 in a certain row on the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 shown in FIG.

 FIG. 6A shows a state in which the cleaning roller 7 that has moved in the direction of arrow A while rotating in the direction of arrow C has approached the position of the ink ejection holes 13 in a certain row. At this time, the ink discharge hole 13 is filled with the ink 15 from the ink chamber 14, and the inside of the ink discharge hole 13 is concave due to the interfacial tension of the surface of the ink 15. A curved meniscus 16 is formed. Then, as shown in FIG. 6 (A), the cleaning roller 7 moves in the direction of arrow A while rotating in the direction of arrow C, thereby moving the ink discharge holes 13 from one side edge to the other side. The air in the ink ejection holes 13 is pushed out from the gap on the other side edge as shown by the arrow D during the closing.

Next, as shown in FIG. 6 (B), when the cleaning roller 7 further moves in the direction of arrow A while rotating in the direction of arrow C, and just reaches the position of the ink ejection hole 13, The ink ejection holes 13 are completely closed. At this time, since the cleaning roller 7 is in contact with the ink discharge surface 6 by pressing, the microscopically, a part of the surface of the cleaning roller 7 is Due to the elasticity, the ink enters the ink discharge hole 13 slightly between one side edge and the other side edge of the ink discharge hole 13, and the air in the ink discharge hole 13 is pushed out by that much. The inlet of the ink discharge hole 13 is closed, and the inside is sealed.

 Thereafter, as shown in FIG. 6 (C), the cleaning roller 7 moves in the direction of arrow A while further rotating in the direction of arrow C to close the other side edge of the ink discharge hole 13. Open only one side edge. At this time, microscopically, when a part of the surface of the cleaning glass 7 slightly entering the ink discharge hole 13 is separated from one side edge of the ink discharge hole 13, The sealed air in the discharge hole 13 is drawn, and is sucked as shown by an arrow E from a gap at one side edge.

 That is, the air in the ink ejection holes 13 is slightly pushed out as shown in FIG. 6 (B) and is sealed (positive pressure), and then the ink ejection holes 13 as shown in FIG. Due to the pressure change in the ink ejection holes 13 when the air inside is drawn out (negative pressure), the ink in the ink ejection holes 13 is sucked. As a result, a suction force is applied to the inside of the ink discharge hole 13 (the remaining ink is pulled to the outside of the print head 4 in FIG. 2), and the ink in the ink discharge hole 13 is sucked and securely. In this case, since the cleaning roller 7 formed of a material having elasticity such as rubber and having a cylindrical shape is moved on the ink ejection surface 6, the head electrode of the ink ejection surface 6 can be removed. The ink discharge surface 6 can be cleaned without damaging the protective layer in a state where the resin is covered with a resin.

FIG. 7 is a side view showing another embodiment of the cleaning roller 7. In this embodiment, the cleaning roller 7 is a member having a number of small holes 17 formed on the outer peripheral surface thereof. The inside diameter of the small hole 17 can be retained by capturing the ink inside by capillary action. It is a dimension of the extent.

 In this case, as described with reference to FIG. 6, the ink suction-removed by the cleaning roller 7 and the ink wiped off by the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning roller 7 are removed by a large number of inks formed on the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning roller 7. Since the small holes 17, 17,... Can be caught and held by the capillary phenomenon, it is possible to clean the ink without leaving ink on the ink discharge surface 6.

 The cleaning roller 7 may be formed in a cylindrical shape from a spongy material having elasticity, and may be a member having a large number of small holes 17, 17,. In this case, the ink caught and held by the capillary phenomenon of the large number of small holes 17, 17,... Is absorbed by the sponge-like portion at the center, so that the ink once cleaned is removed by the cleaning roller 7. The next cleaning can be performed while holding the inside.

 In another embodiment, the portion of the cleaning roller 7 that comes into contact with the ink ejection surface 6 is formed of a material having bubbles (a so-called foam-containing material, a porous material, etc .; hereinafter, simply referred to as a foam material). May be. This foam material can be classified into closed cells, open cells, and semi-closed cells in which closed cells and open cells are mixed, depending on its cell structure, and any foam structure may be used. In addition, closed cells refer to those in which each individual bubble is completely independent, and open cells refer to those in which some or most of the bubbles are connected to other adjacent bubbles.

Fig. 8 shows a case where a foam material having closed cells 61 is used, Fig. 9 shows a case where a foam material having open cells 71 is used, and Fig. 10 shows a case where closed cells 61 and open cells 71 are used. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the cleaning roller 7 when a foam material (semi-closed cell) in which is mixed is used. That is, the cleaning roller 7 according to the present embodiment is an example as shown in FIGS. For example, it is formed of a metal or a hard resin or the like, and both ends thereof are formed of one of the above-mentioned foam material and a core material 60 serving as the pin 9, and a roller portion ( 6 2, 7 2 or 8 2) and.

 Examples of foam materials having closed cells and semi-closed cells as a cell structure include EPDM foam (ethylene propylene polymer), NBR (nitro rubber), and silicone rubber based sponge rubber. As a material having bubbles, for example, there is a urethane foam obtained by foaming PUR (polyurethane).

 The cleaning roller 7 is configured as shown in FIGS. 8 to 10 so that the portion in contact with the ink discharge surface 6 has elasticity, and the ink attached on the outer peripheral surface is formed by bubbles on the roller surface. It also has the function of absorbing and retaining the holes. In particular, in the case of open cells, the effect of absorbing (penetrating) the ink into the roller by capillary action is increased, and the ink holding power can be further improved.

 In this case, since the portion including the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning roller 7 is formed of a foam material, the cleaning roller 7 has resiliency, and when the cleaning roller 7 is moved on the ink ejection surface 6, The ink discharge surface 6 can be cleaned without damaging the protective layer where the head electrode of the discharge surface 6 is covered with the resin.

Further, the ink sucked and removed as described above is captured by the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning port 7 and is absorbed (permeated) and retained in the holes formed by the air bubbles. Contamination due to the re-attachment of the removed ink can also be prevented. Therefore, the next cleaning can be performed while the ink once cleaned is held in the cleaning roller 7. Next, a specific mechanism for moving and following rotation of the cleaning roller 7 shown in FIG. 2 will be described with reference to FIGS. 11 and 12. FIG. FIG. 11 is a side view showing details of the head cap opening / closing mechanism 20 shown in FIG. First, the cleaning roller 7 shown in FIG. 2 is attached to the head cap 5 as shown in FIG. 3, and the head cap 5 has a linear rack on the lower side as shown in FIG. 22 are connected to and supported by the moving rack plate 40 on which the formed rack 22 is formed.

 The moving rack plate 40 is for moving the head cap 5 in the directions of arrows A and B, and has two guide pins 4 provided at both upper ends of the inner side surface of the moving rack plate 40. 1 a, 4 lbs are engaged with the linear moving guide grooves 43 formed on one outer plate 42 of the printer body 2 shown in Fig. 1, and the rack 22 formed on the lower side is However, it is supported in combination with a pinion 23 rotated by a worm gear 45 on a rotating shaft of a transfer motor 44 attached to the one outer plate 42.

 On one outer surface of the head cap 5, two front and rear cap guide pins 46a and 46b are provided to protrude toward the moving rack plate 40 side. In addition, two cap guide grooves 47, 48 curved into a predetermined shape are formed in the middle portion of one of the outer plates 42 of the printer main body 2 to form the movement trajectory of the head cap 5. ing. The two cap guide pins 46a and 46b before and after the head cap 5 are engaged with the cap guide grooves 47 and 48 of the outer plate 42 of the printer body 2, respectively. Only the front cap guide pin 46a is engaged with a vertically long guide groove 49 formed in the front end of the moving rack plate 40.

With such a mechanism, the pinion 23 is rotated in the directions of the arrows F and G via the worm gear 45 by the driving of the moving motor 44, thereby The moving rack plate 40 is moved in the directions of arrows A and B by the matching rack 22. At this time, since the cap guide pin 46 a at the front of the head cap 5 is engaged with the guide groove 49 at the front end of the moving rack plate 40, the head cap 5 is It moves in the directions of arrows A and B together with the moving rack plate 40. The movement trajectory of the head cap 5 at that time is determined by the shapes of the cap guide grooves 47 and 48 with which the front and rear two cap guide bins 46a and 46b are engaged.

 FIG. 12 is an enlarged side view of a main part of FIG. 11, and shows a specific structure of the driven roller 7 of the cleaning roller 7. That is, a spring support member 50 is set up inside a holding member 10 for holding pins 9 at both ends of the cleaning roller 7 inside the head cap 5, and a coil spring is mounted on the spring support member 50. The coil spring 51 is wound and mounted, and the upper end of the coil spring 51 is pressed against the lower surface of a bearing 52 that rotatably supports the pin 9 of the cleaning roller 7.

 Therefore, the cleaning port 7 can be constantly urged upward by the elastic force of the coil spring 51 and pressed against the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4. As a result, in FIG. 11, when the head cap 5 moves in the direction of arrow A, the cleaning port 7 pressed against the ink discharge surface 6 is pressed in the direction of arrow C by contact with the ink discharge surface 6. It rotates following.

FIG. 13 is an enlarged side view of a main part showing another embodiment of the moving mechanism of the cleaning roller 7. This embodiment includes a brake mechanism for restricting the rotation of the cleaning roller 7 so that the cleaning roller 7 rotates while rubbing on the ink discharge surface 6 with the rotation restricted by the brake mechanism. It was made. As shown in Fig. 13, the above brake mechanism is integrally fixed to the pin 9 of the cleaning roller 7. For example, a cylindrical or cylindrical brake drum 53, an elongated band-shaped brake shoe 54 wound around the outer peripheral surface of the brake drum 53 and having one end fixed thereto, and the other end of the brake shoe 54 And a tension spring 55 which is connected to the section and provides an appropriate tightening force.

 As a result, when the cleaning port roller 7 is driven to rotate by pressing contact with the ink ejection surface 6, the rotation of the brake drum 53 is braked by the tightening force of the brake pad 54, and the brake is applied. The cleaning roller 7 is rotated while rubbing on the ink discharge surface 6 with the rotation restricted by the brake mechanism. In this case, since the cleaning port 7 rotates a little while rubbing the ink discharge surface 6, the ink discharge surface 6 is solidified and adhered without damaging the ink discharge surface 6 of course. Ink can also be cleaned. The brake mechanism is not limited to the structure shown in FIG. 13, but may have another structure as long as the rotation of the cleaning roller 7 can be restricted.

 FIG. 14 is an enlarged side view of a main part showing still another embodiment of the moving mechanism of the above-mentioned clear sig roller 7. As shown in FIG. This embodiment includes a fixing mechanism for inhibiting the rotation of the cleaning roller 7, and moves on the ink ejection surface 6 in a state where the cleaning roller 7 is fixed so as not to rotate by the fixing mechanism. It was done. As shown in FIG. 14, the fixing mechanism includes, for example, a substantially rectangular rotation limiting frame 56 fixed integrally to the pin 9 of the cleaning roller 7, and opposite side edges of the rotation limiting frame 56. And a substantially concave fixing member 57 for holding and locking the holding member.

As a result, even if the cleaning roller 7 is driven to rotate by pressing contact with the ink ejection surface 6, both sides of the rotation limiting command 56 are sandwiched and locked by the fixing member 57, so that With the cleaning port 7 fixed by the fixing mechanism so as not to rotate, It moves on the ink discharge surface 6. In this case, the ink ejection surface 6 is moved while being rubbed by the cleaning roller 7, so that not only the liquid ink adhering to the ink ejection surface 6 but also the ink solidified and adhered is cleared. I can do it. The fixing mechanism is not limited to the structure shown in FIG. 14, and may have another structure as long as the rotation of the cleaning roller 7 can be prohibited.

 FIG. 15 is an enlarged side view of a main part showing still another embodiment of the moving mechanism of the cleaning roller 7. In this embodiment, a rotary drive mechanism for driving the cleaning roller 7 to rotate is provided, and the cleaning roller 7 is rotated on the ink ejection surface 6 by the rotary drive mechanism. As shown in FIG. 15, the rotation drive mechanism includes a pinion gear 58 integrally fixed to the pin 9 of the cleaning roller 7 and a worm gear 59 that fits with the pinion gear 58. It consists of a drive module 60 on the rotating shaft. And, by such a rotation drive mechanism, the cleaning roller 7 is positively rotated in the forward direction or the reverse direction.

Then, as shown in FIG. 16A, the rotation of the cleaning roller 7 by the drive motor 60 is the same as the moving direction of the arrow A of the head cap 5 shown in FIG. 2 (in FIG. 16A, (To the right) and at a speed such that the outer peripheral speed V 2 of the cleaning roller 7 is greater than the moving speed V 1 of the head cap 5. Is done. In this case, rubbing occurs based on the speed difference between the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 and the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning roller 7, and the ink discharge surface 6 is reliably cleaned. Even if the moving speed V1 of the head cap 5 is set to be higher than the outer peripheral speed V2 of the cleaning roller 7, the motor 60 is rotated in the same manner as described above. Outside the discharge surface 6 and cleaning roller 7 Rubbing occurs with the peripheral surface, and the ink ejection surface 6 is reliably cleaned.

 Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 16B, the cleaning roller 7 is rotated in the direction opposite to the moving direction of the arrow A of the head cap 5 shown in FIG. 2 (the left direction in FIG. 16B). You may. In this case, rubbing occurs due to a difference in the moving direction between the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 and the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning roller 7, and the ink discharge surface 6 is reliably cleaned.

 Thus, in the case of the embodiment shown in FIG. 15, the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 can be cleaned by a new outer peripheral surface that is successively drawn out by the positive rotation of the cleaning roller 7. it can.

 Next, a series of cleaning operations performed by the cleaning roller 7 of the ink jet head 1 configured as described above will be described with reference to FIGS. 17A to 17F. Here, in the inkjet head 1 shown in FIG. 2, the head cap 5 moves in the direction of arrow A to clean the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4, and then performs preliminary ejection of ink after the execution. And First, FIG. 17A shows an initial state in which the head cap 5 is closed with respect to the ink cartridge 3. In this state, in FIG. 1, the ink-jet head 1 is stored and set in the printer main body 2.

Next, with the head cap 5 set in the printer main body 2 and the head cap open signal, the head cap 5 is moved relative to the ink cartridge 3 in the direction of arrow A as shown in FIG. 17B. Be moved. Then, the cleaning roller 7 moves in the direction of the arrow A together with the head cap 5 with respect to the ink cartridge 3, and presses and contacts the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4. Clean 6 At this time, the cleaning roller 7 is driven to rotate in a state of contact with the ink ejection surface 6, and Or, the rotation is restricted by a brake mechanism or a fixed mechanism, or it is rotated in the forward or reverse direction by a rotary drive mechanism to move.

 In this state, in FIG. 2, it is assumed that, for example, the ink ejection surface 6 of yellow Y among the ink ejection surfaces 6 of the print head 4 has been cleaned. Then, the end of cleaning of the ink ejection surface 6 of the yellow Y is detected by the position detection means (not shown) provided on the lower surface side of the head cap 5. As a result, a preliminary ejection start signal is sent to the ink ejection holes on the ink ejection surface 6 of the yellow Y.

 Next, as shown in FIG. 17C, the preliminary ejection ink 18 is ejected from the ink ejection holes of the ink ejection surface 6 of the yellow Y. Thereafter, a preliminary ejection end signal is sent to the ink ejection holes of the ink ejection surface 6 of the yellow Y, and the ejection of the preliminary ejection ink 18 is stopped. Thereafter, similarly, in FIG. 2, each time the cleaning of the ink discharge surface 6 of M, C, and K by the cleaning roller 7 is completed, the completion of cleaning of the ink discharge surface 6 is detected by the position detecting means. A preliminary discharge start signal and a preliminary discharge end signal are sent to each ink discharge hole. Thereby, the timing of the preliminary ejection from each ink ejection hole is controlled, and the preliminary ejection of the ink is sequentially performed.

 When cleaning and preliminary ejection of the ink ejection surface 6 for each color are completed in this way, as shown in FIG. 17D, the head cap 5 moves fully in the direction of arrow A and moves slightly upward to the retreat position. Fits in. In this state, print and print on recording paper.

Next, when printing and printing of the required number of pages are completed, a head cap closing signal is sent, and the head cap 5 is moved from the retracted position to the ink cartridge 3 as shown in FIG. 17E. Is relatively moved in the direction of arrow B. Then, the cleaning roller 7 moves in the direction of the arrow B together with the head cap 5 with respect to the ink cartridge 3, and the cleaning The roller 7 returns without contacting the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4.

 Thereafter, as shown in FIG. 17F, the head cap 5 moves fully in the direction of the arrow B with respect to the ink cartridge 3 to be in a closed state, and returns to the initial state. Then, it waits for the next print / print instruction.

 In the above operation, the preliminary ejection of the ink is performed after the cleaning of the ink ejection surface 6 of the print head 4 is performed.However, there is a possibility that the cleaning roller 7 in contact with the ink ejection surface 6 may cause color mixing. If not, the ink may be preliminarily discharged before the cleaning of the ink discharge surface 6 by the cleaning roller 7. In this case, it is not necessary to control the timing of the preliminary ejection from the ink ejection holes of each of the colors Y, M, C, and K by the position detection means.

 Next, an image forming apparatus as a related invention of the above-mentioned ink jet head 1, for example, an ink jet printer will be described with reference to FIG. 1 and FIGS. Ink jet printing is a process in which ink is finely dispersed and ejected from an ink jet head, and the ink jet is sprayed on recording paper for printing. As shown in Fig. 1, ink jet head 1 is used. A printer main body 2, a head attaching / detaching mechanism 19, and a head cap opening / closing mechanism 20. In addition, this ink jet head shows a type in which the ink jet head 1 is directly attached to the main body 2 of the ink jet. The above-mentioned ink jet head 1 is a type in which the liquid ink is, for example, an electrothermal conversion type or an electromechanical conversion type. The ink is sprayed on recording paper in the form of fine particles, and is ejected onto the recording paper, and has the same configuration as that described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 17F.

The printer body 2 is for mounting the above-mentioned ink jet head 1 at a predetermined position to perform a function as an ink jet printer. It has a paper tray, a recording paper transport system, an operation drive system, and an overall control circuit unit. In FIG. 1, reference numeral 21 denotes a paper ejection tray ejected after printing, and a head attaching / detaching mechanism 19 attaches the above-mentioned ink jet head 1 to a predetermined portion of the printer main body 2 and fixes it. For example, a horizontally long bar member that is configured to insert the ink jet head 1 into a predetermined location formed by a recess provided in the center of the pudding main body 2 and press the upper surface thereof Consists of That is, it extends in the entire width direction of the printer main body 2, and falls, for example, vertically and horizontally. Then, with the bar member standing upright as shown in Fig. 1, the inkjet head 1 is housed in the direction of arrow H and mounted, and the bar member is tilted horizontally as shown in Fig. 18 In this state, the ink jet head 1 is fixed to the above-mentioned predetermined position.

 The head cap opening / closing mechanism 20 moves the head cap 5 relative to the print head 4 (see FIG. 2) in a state where the ink jet head 1 is fixed to a predetermined portion of the printer main body 2. The head cap 5 is closed after printing, and the ink ejection surface 6 (see Fig. 2) is released, and the head cap 5 is closed after printing. For example, a rack 22 provided on the side of the printer body 2 and a pinion Combination with 23. The detailed structure is as already described with reference to FIG.

Then, as shown in FIG. 18, with the inkjet head 1 fixed to a predetermined portion of the pudding body 2 by the head attaching / detaching mechanism 19, the pinion 23 is moved by the moving motor 44 shown in FIG. 11. By rotating in a predetermined direction, the rack 22 moves in the direction of the arrow A as shown in FIG. 19, and at the same time, the head cap 5 shown in FIG. 1 moves in the direction of the arrow A to be opened and stored in the retracted position. It has become. The head cap opening / closing mechanism 20 is not limited to the engagement between the rack 22 and the pinion 23 described above. For example, rubber rollers are pressed against both side surfaces of the head cap 5 to rotate the rubber rollers. A motor may be connected to the shaft, and the motor may be rotated to move the head cap 5 in the direction of arrow A and open it by friction of the rubber port.

 Next, the ink jet head 1 is fixed at a predetermined position of the printer main body 2 shown in FIG. 1, and the head cap 5 is moved relatively to the print head 4 (see FIG. 2) to eject ink. A specific mechanism and operation for releasing the surface 6 (see FIG. 2) will be described with reference to FIGS. 20 to 24.

 First, FIG. 20 shows a state in which the inkjet head 1 is inserted into a predetermined portion of the pudding main body 2 in the direction of arrow H in FIG. 1 and stored. In this state, the lower ends of the cap lock hooks 24 provided at both ends of the inkjet head 1 are engaged with the locking pieces 2 on both sides of the head cap 5 by the elastic force of the vine winding panel 25. 6 is engaged. As a result, the head cap 5 is integrally attached to the ink cartridge 3.

 In this state, in FIG. 20, the head attaching / detaching mechanism 19 is pushed down in the direction of arrow J to be fixed. Then, the upper end portion 28 of the cap lock hook 24 is pushed down and rotated by the cap lock release piece 27 provided on the lower side of the head attaching / detaching mechanism 19, and as shown in FIG. Lift the lower end of the cap lock hook 24 to release the engagement with the locking pieces 26 on both sides of the head cap 5. As a result, as shown in FIG. 18, the ink jet head 1 is fixed to a predetermined portion of the pudding main body 2 by the head attaching / detaching mechanism 19, and the head cap 5 becomes movable.

Next, the head cap opening / closing mechanism 20 shown in FIG. 21 is operated, and the pinion 23 is rotated by the movement mode 44 shown in FIG. Move in the A direction. Then, as shown in FIG. 22, the head cap 5 attached to the bottom side of the ink cartridge 3 moves in the direction of arrow A together with the rack 22 and opens. Then, as shown in FIG. 2, cleaning of the ink discharge surface 6 of the print head 4 provided on the bottom surface of the ink cartridge 3 is started by the cleaning roller 7 urged by the floating spring 11. . In FIG. 22, reference symbol P indicates a locus of movement of the head cap 5.

 Thereafter, the head cap 5 sequentially moves in the direction of arrow A according to the movement locus P as shown in FIG. At this time, the cleaning rollers 7 attached to the head cap 5 sequentially clean the ink ejection surfaces 6 of the respective colors of Y, M, C, and K shown in FIG. 2, and before or after the cleaning. The preliminary ejection of the ink is performed later.

 When the cleaning and the preliminary ejection of the ink ejection surfaces 6 of the respective colors are completed, the head cap 5 moves fully in the direction of arrow A according to the movement locus P as shown in FIG. To the retreat position as shown in Fig. 22. Printing and printing are performed on the recording paper in this state. At this time, since the head cap 5 moves slightly upward as shown in FIG. 24, the space for storing the head cap 5 can be reduced. In FIG. 24, the recording paper passes below the print head 4 provided on the bottom surface of the ink cartridge 3, but the lower surface of the head cap 5 may guide the passage of the recording paper. . In this case, a rib for guiding the recording paper may be provided on the lower surface side of the head cap 5. Further, a water-repellent treatment may be performed so that the ink printed on the recording paper does not stick.

In this state, when printing and printing of the required number of pages are completed, the head cap 5 moves from the retracted position shown in FIG. 24 in the direction of arrow B by the above-described reverse operation, and as shown in FIG. , Head cap 5 is ink cartridge It returns to the bottom side of 3 and becomes the initial state.

 In FIG. 20, by opening the head attaching / detaching mechanism 19 in the direction opposite to the arrow J, the cap lock hook 24 is engaged with the side of the head cap 5 by the natural force of the hanging panel 25. The head cap 5 is engaged with the stopper 26 and the head cap 5 is integrally attached to the ink cartridge 3. In this state, the inkjet head 1 can be removed from the printer body 2 as shown in FIG.

 If the power of the printer is turned off for any reason while the head cap 5 is in the retracted position shown in Fig. 24, the head cap 5 remains in the retracted position described above. . And in this state, Figure 2

As shown in Fig. 0, when the head attachment / detachment mechanism 19 is opened in the direction opposite to the arrow: r, only the ink force cartridge 3 is removed while the head cap 5 remains at the retracted position. Become. Therefore, in order to prevent this, if the power of the printer is shut down for some reason, the head cap 5 at the evacuation position automatically returns to the initial position shown in Fig. 20. Or, if the head cap 5 has not returned to the initial position shown in FIG. 20, the head attaching / detaching mechanism 19 cannot be opened in the direction opposite to the arrow J. One lock mechanism may be provided.

 The ink jet printer described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 18 to 24 has been described as a type in which the ink jet head 1 is directly mounted on the printer main body 2. However, the present invention is not limited to this. The same applies to other types of printers that attach the printer 1 to the printer body 2 via a tray.Refer to Figure 25A and Figure 25B for an overview of other types of inkjet printers. I will explain.

First, as shown in Fig. 25A, the ink jet head 1 with the head cap 5 physically mounted on the ink cartridge 3, As shown by the arrow Q, the tray 29 is mounted at a predetermined position inside the tray 29 which can be moved forward and backward. After that, the tray 29 is moved in the direction of arrow R and set in the printer body 2. At this time, as shown in FIG. 25B, the head cap 5 is hooked by an appropriate hooking means provided in the pudding body 2 during the movement of the tray 29 in the direction of the arrow; And stop. The tray 29 is for setting the ink jet head 1 in the pudding main body 2 or replacing the ink jet head.

 Thereafter, the tray 29 moves as it is in the direction of arrow R, whereby the ink cartridge 3 moves in the direction of arrow R relative to the head cap 5, and as a result, the head cap 5 opens. At the same time, when the head cap 5 moves in the direction of the arrow R relatively to the ink cartridge 3, the ink in the print head 4 is operated in the same manner as shown in FIGS. 17A to 17F. Cleaning of the ejection surface 6 and preliminary ejection of ink are performed. After that, printing and printing are performed on the recording paper.

In FIG. 25A and FIG. 25B, reference numeral 30 indicates a recording paper tray, reference numeral 31 indicates recording paper, reference numeral 32 indicates a feed roller, and reference numeral 33 indicates a feed belt. Reference numeral 34 denotes a discharge tray, and reference numeral S denotes a discharge direction of the recording paper.

As described above, according to the present embodiment, the cleaning member formed in a columnar shape with an elastic material is relatively moved while being in contact with the ink discharge surface of the print head. The ink in the ink ejection hole can be sucked and removed by the pressure change in the ink ejection hole when the outer peripheral surface of the member moves while being in contact with the ink ejection surface. Thus, the ink ejection surface of the print head is not damaged, and the cleaning effect near the ink ejection holes can be improved. In addition, the ink in the ink ejection holes is slightly over-sucked using a suction pump as in the past. 3110

This prevents the wasteful consumption of ink.

 Further, since the cleaning member has a large number of small holes formed on the outer peripheral surface thereof, the cleaning member may be moved when the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member is in contact with the ink discharge surface of the print head. The ink sucked from the ink discharge hole due to the pressure change in the ink discharge hole is caught in the small hole by the capillary action of the large number of small holes on the outer peripheral surface, and is reliably removed without being left on the ink discharge surface. And can be cleaned.

 Further, since the cleaning member is formed in a crown shape in which the central portion is gradually thickened, even if the cleaning member is bent downward at the central portion in the longitudinal direction, the cleaning member is not in contact with the ink discharge surface. Can avoid contact.

 In addition, the cleaning member moves on the ink ejection surface while being rotated while being in contact with the ink ejection surface, so that the ink ejection surface of the print head is not damaged, and the ink ejection hole is not damaged. The cleaning effect in the vicinity can be improved.

 Further, a brake mechanism for restricting rotation of the cleaning member is provided, and the cleaning member rotates and rubs on the ink discharge surface in a state where the rotation is restricted by the brake mechanism. Without damaging the ink ejection surface, it is possible to clean not only liquid ink adhering but also solidified and stuck ink.

 In addition, a fixing mechanism for inhibiting rotation of the cleaning member is provided, and the cleaning member moves on the ink discharge surface while being fixed so as not to rotate by the fixing mechanism. It is possible to clean not only liquid ink adhering to the ink discharge surface but also solidified and sticky ink.

A rotation drive mechanism for rotating the cleaning member; The cleaning member is configured to rotate and move on the ink discharge surface by the rotation driving mechanism, thereby causing the ink discharge surface of the print head to move in the positive or reverse direction of the cleaning member in the positive or reverse direction. A new outside that comes out one after another by rotation. The cleaning can be surely performed by the peripheral surface. In addition, the elastic cleaning member formed in a columnar shape with a material having at least one of closed cells or open cells is relatively moved while being in contact with the ink ejection surface of the print head. The ink in the ink ejection hole was suctioned and removed by the pressure change in the ink ejection hole when the cleaning member moved while the outer peripheral surface was in contact with the ink ejection surface, and the ink was sucked and removed. The ink is absorbed into the inside of the hole formed by the bubbles, and can be reliably removed without leaving the ink on the ink ejection surface or the cleaning member surface. Thus, the ink discharge surface of the print head is not damaged, and the cleaning effect near the ink discharge hole can be improved. In addition, since the ink in the ink ejection holes is not suctioned slightly more by using the suction pump as in the related art, it is possible to prevent the ink from being wasted.

 In the above-described embodiment, a liquid ejection apparatus including a liquid ejection head having a liquid ejection surface provided with a row of liquid ejection holes for ejecting droplets has been described using an inkjet printer. Not limited to this, it can be widely applied to other liquid discharge heads and liquid discharge devices that discharge liquids, for example, facsimile machines, copiers, and discharge DNA-containing solutions for detecting biological samples The present invention can also be applied to a liquid ejection device, a liquid ejection device that ejects a liquid containing conductive particles for forming a wiring pattern of a printed wiring board, and the like.

In addition, although the description has been given as a line-head type ink jet printer, the present invention is not limited to this. Is also applicable. Industrial applicability

 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a liquid ejection head, a cleaning method thereof, and a liquid ejection apparatus. For example, an ink jet head for ejecting ink droplets for image formation from an ink ejection hole onto a recording medium, a cleaning method thereof, and an ink jet It can be used in the pudding evening.

Claims

The scope of the claims
1. A liquid discharge head having a liquid discharge surface provided with a row of liquid discharge holes for discharging droplets,
 A cleaning member formed in a columnar shape with a material having elasticity; and a moving means for relatively moving the cleaning member in contact with the liquid ejection surface.
 A liquid discharge head, wherein the liquid in the liquid discharge hole is sucked by a pressure change in the liquid discharge hole when the cleaning member moves while the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member is in contact with the liquid discharge surface. .
 2. The liquid discharging head according to claim 1, wherein the cleaning member has a number of small holes formed on an outer peripheral surface thereof.
 3. The liquid discharge head according to claim 1, wherein the liquid discharge head is formed of a material having at least one of closed cells and open cells.
 4. The liquid discharge head according to claim 1, wherein the cleaning member is formed in a crown shape in which a central portion is gradually thickened.
 5. The liquid ejection head according to claim 1, wherein the cleaning member moves on the liquid ejection surface while being rotated while being in contact with the liquid ejection surface.
 6. A brake mechanism for restricting rotation of the cleaning member is provided, and the cleaning member rotates while rubbing on the liquid ejection surface in a state where rotation is restricted by the brake mechanism. The liquid ejection head according to claim 1, wherein
7. A fixing mechanism for inhibiting rotation of the cleaning member is provided, and the cleaning member is fixed so as not to rotate by the fixing mechanism. 2. The liquid ejection head according to claim 1, wherein the liquid ejection head moves on the liquid ejection surface in a state in which the liquid ejection head is in a closed state.
 8. The liquid ejection head according to claim 1, further comprising: a rotation drive mechanism that rotationally drives the cleaning member, wherein the cleaning member is rotationally moved on the liquid ejection surface by the rotation drive mechanism. De.
 9. The liquid discharge head according to claim 1, wherein the moving unit relatively moves the cleaning member in a direction orthogonal to a longitudinal direction of the liquid discharge surface.
 10. The liquid ejection head according to claim 1, further comprising a cap member for protecting the liquid ejection surface, wherein the cleaning member moves together with the cap member.
 11. An ink jet head for forming an image by discharging ink, and the liquid discharge surface is provided with a row of the liquid discharge holes for each color of one or more colors. The liquid discharge head according to claim 1, characterized by:
 12. A method for cleaning a liquid discharge head having a liquid discharge surface provided with a row of liquid discharge holes for discharging droplets,
 A cleaning member formed in a columnar shape with an elastic material is relatively moved while being in contact with the liquid ejection surface, and the outer peripheral surface of the cleaning member is moved in contact with the liquid ejection surface. A method for cleaning a liquid discharge head, wherein the liquid in the liquid discharge hole is sucked by a change in pressure in the liquid discharge hole when the liquid is discharged.
 13. The liquid discharging apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the cleaning member having a large number of small holes formed on the outer peripheral surface is relatively moved while being in contact with the liquid discharging surface. How to clean the pad.
14. Materials with at least one of closed and open cells 13. The method for cleaning a liquid discharge head according to claim 12, wherein the cleaning member formed by the step (b) is relatively moved while being in contact with the liquid discharge surface. .
 15. A liquid ejection apparatus for ejecting droplets from a row of liquid ejection holes provided on a liquid ejection surface,
 A cleaning member having a columnar shape made of an elastic material; and a moving means for relatively moving the cleaning member in contact with the liquid ejection surface. A liquid discharge head configured to aspirate the liquid in the liquid discharge hole due to a pressure change in the liquid discharge hole when the outer peripheral surface of the liquid discharge member moves while being in contact with the liquid discharge surface;
 A head attaching / detaching mechanism for attaching and fixing the liquid discharge head to a predetermined portion of the apparatus body and releasing the fixation;
A liquid ejection device comprising:
 16. The liquid discharging head according to claim 15, wherein the cleaning member of the liquid discharging head has a number of small holes formed on an outer peripheral surface thereof.
17. The liquid discharging apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the cleaning member of the liquid discharging head is formed of a material having at least one of closed cells and open cells.
 18. The liquid discharge head is an ink jet head for forming an image by discharging an ink, and the liquid discharge surface is provided with a row of the liquid discharge holes of one color or a plurality of colors. 16. The liquid ejection device according to claim 15, wherein the liquid ejection device is provided for each color.
PCT/JP2003/003110 2002-03-14 2003-03-14 Liquid ejecting head, method of cleaning the ejecting head, and liquid ejecting device WO2003076192A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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JP2002070888A JP3931699B2 (en) 2002-03-14 2002-03-14 Cleaning member, head cleaning method, and image forming apparatus
JP2002070887A JP3931698B2 (en) 2002-03-14 2002-03-14 Cleaning member, head cleaning method, and image forming apparatus
JP2002-070888 2002-03-14
JP2002-070887 2002-03-14

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US10/477,481 US7156485B2 (en) 2002-03-14 2003-03-14 Liquid discharge head, cleaning method thereof, and liquid discharge apparatus
KR1020037014788A KR100975453B1 (en) 2002-03-14 2003-03-14 Cleaning member, head cleaning method and image forming device
EP03712706A EP1484179A4 (en) 2002-03-14 2003-03-14 Liquid ejecting head, method of cleaning the ejecting head, and liquid ejecting device

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KR20040099099A (en) 2004-11-26
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US7156485B2 (en) 2007-01-02
KR100975453B1 (en) 2010-08-11

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